Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving dribbles as Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija Feb 10, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles as Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija (9) defends during the second half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

There have been plenty of reactions around the NBA to the Kyrie Irving situation.

While the league initially took a hands-off approach to comment on Irving, he eventually crossed the line when he refused to apologize and seemed unfazed by the damage his promotion of an antisemitic film had caused. Since then, various members of the NBA world have been chiming in about Irving and how he’s handled the situation, from the commissioner to commentators to teammates and some of the league’s other superstars. Even Nike has paused their relationship with him over the way he’s handled things.

The Brooklyn Nets played their first game without Irving since he was suspended by the franchise, defeating the Washington Wizards on Friday night. One member of that team is Deni Avdija. Originally from Israel, he is believed to be the only Jewish player currently in the NBA. Avdija had a chance to discuss Irving’s comments and situations afterward.

“[Irving] is a role model, he’s a great player. I think he [made] a mistake. But you need to understand that he gives [an] example to people. People look up to him,” Avdija said. “You can think whatever you want, you can do whatever you want. I don’t think it’s right to go out in public and publish it, and let little kids that follow you see it, and the generation to come after to think like that. Because it’s not true. And I don’t think it’s fair. Hopefully, he’s sorry for what he said.“I think there needs to be consequences for the actions that a player [does]. I don’t know the punishment that the league gives but I think that needs to be known that there’s no room for words like that.”

Irving is currently suspended for at least three more games and the Nets have a checklist of things they want to see from him before he can return.

[New York Post]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to